2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Monthly Update for November 2016
by Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor
Where Did We Drive It?
Our long-term 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata stayed local during November, racking up just a tick more than 800 miles. Doesn't sound like an awful lot, does it? No, and part of the reason is that it encountered a spot of bad luck that sidelined it for a portion of the month. You got it — body-shop time.
Specifically, we found a neat perforation in our Miata's nose, just beneath the driver-side headlight. The culprit was likely an inattentive truck driver who didn't see the Mazda while reversing from a parking stall, but we'll never find out.
Perhaps we need to install an orange flag at each of the Miata's corners. Sheesh.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
City driving does no car any favors when it comes to fuel economy. For the city-heavy month of November, our Miata returned 27.6 mpg. This is among the lowest monthly fuel economy results we've observed yet in the little roadster, although it is nearly bang-on with the EPA city number. We're just used to exceeding it.
The relatively lackluster showing for November dragged the Miata's lifetime fuel economy down to 31.1 mpg, which is 0.2 mpg lower than its running total circa last month.
Average lifetime mpg: 31.1 mpg
EPA mpg rating: 30 mpg combined (27 city/34 highway)
Best fill mpg: 41.6 mpg
Best range: 401.6 miles
Current odometer: 21,104 miles
Maintenance and Upkeep
Our Miata's trip to the body shop constituted its only unscheduled hiatus. As of this writing, it's still there. There was no scheduled service this month.
"'Mike, I walked up to the Miata this morning and saw damage on the front bumper. I don't know how it happened. Just wanted to bring it to your attention,' he said. This sort of thing happens on occasion, and it is never pleasant to hear. Only option now is to fix it." — Mike Schmidt, Senior Manager, Vehicle Testing
"Fun fact — the Miata has LED headlights because they made the car smaller. The shallower depth of LED headlight assemblies commanded less real estate than other lighting technologies, allowing Mazda's engineers to shorten the Miata's front overhang. It wasn't the superior power consumption or longevity of LEDs that led this decision, though those factors weren't ignored. I'm reminded of this every time I approach the Miata's compact, taut front overhang. Form follows function, but this function certainly has form." — Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor
"The Miata is a seriously small and lightweight car, but that doesn't mean you feel unsafe on the highway. High-speed stability is exceptional. I could do with a little (OK, a lot) less road and engine noise, but the composure of this chassis is top-notch. Incidentally, I took the rock 'n' roll photos at the Duran Duran concert that Mazda put on for the ND Miata's introduction. It really happened." — Josh Sadlier, Content Strategist